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Saturday, 3 May 2014

THE MELITA HUME SHORTLIST 2014: VICTORIA KENNEFICK (11 OF 11)


Last, but not least, we come to the 11th shortlisted poet, all read and selected from many more fine submissions, by our judge for this year, Emily Berry. We will be announcing the winner on the 7th of May.
 
Dr Victoria Kennefick (pictured) is a native of Shanagarry, Co. Cork.  She was a receipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2007 and completed her PhD in Literature at University College Cork in 2009. Her poems have been published in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Wordlegs, The Weary Blues and Abridged. 
 
She won the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize 2013 and the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize 2014.  She was selected to read as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2013 and at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival Emerging Writers Reading in February 2014.  Now living and working in Kerry, she is a member of the Listowel Writers' Week committee and co-coordinator of its New Writers' Salon, as well coordinating the recently established Kerry Women Writers' Network.   She is the recipient of the Cill Rialaig /Listowel Writers' Week Residency Award 2014 and has just been granted a Bursary from Kerry County Council.


Lent

 
Sister, let’s unwrap Lent like a treat,

stroke the smooth chocolate egg beneath,

the one that we couldn’t eat.

The wafer, yes, but no ice-cream.

Little Jesuses in the desert for forty days

and nights, with no dessert.

The devil tapping on our flat-black

window pane before bed;

mother, cutting tiny slices of bread

in the corner, eating from doll plates.

She couldn’t be prouder of our ecstasy

of denial, little letter-box lips refusing

all the sins of the tongue.

 

Easter bells rattled the glass,

Christ has risen, Alleluia.

We had the Resurrection with chocolate sauce.

It made us sick and giddy, pupils

rising in our irises, yours

the most divine Holy-Mary blue.

We held hands and spun around,

fizzy-headed and falling down.

Open the chocolate box, sister, and see

the liquor-filled grown-up sweets.

Pillows of sin, filled with

the seven deadly tastes, a menu

read to us on waking.

 

In the Ordinary Time of your dark kitchen,

we drop tissuey tea bags into boiling water.

Rust whispers to transparency. 

Peace blooms,

bleeding

into molecules,

slowly.
 

poem COPYRIGHT POET 2014
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